New Year’s Day 2022: Be Like Water!

New Year’s Day 2022: Be Like Water!

Wishing you a smooth, loving & healthy flow in 2022 despite the complexities we are all going through these days. 

     So, onward into the new year & on January 1st, I performed a new Karstic Action: Be Like Water (video below) for the Poetry Project’s 48th Annual New Year’s day Marathon. My three minute performance was live streamed at around 7:30PM EST. The piece is dedicated to artist Betsy Damon.  Back in October I was privileged to perform a sound scape I created for her performance Listen, Respect, Revere presented at La Mama Gallery during her solo show PASSAGES: RITES AND RITUALS curated by Monika Fabijanska. Betsy’s radical performance practice from the 70s & her relentless worldwide eco-activism inspires, energizes, & prompts action. Hence the Karstic-Action Be Like Water, a performance precipitated by the proximity of great water in my close environment. I have lived on the shore of Shatemuc since 2007 (in Bayridge, Brooklyn) & before that on the shores of Mahicanituck (Albany, NY 1992-2007). Different names for the same river, whether it is the Mohican’s name upstream or the Lenape’s name downstream, the meaning remains the same: “the river that flows two ways,” — thus not just a river, but a tidal estuary, an arm of the sea where salty seawater meets fresh water running off the land. Today we call her Hudson River, after the English navigator Henry Hudson who in 1609 sailed the “Halve Maen (Half Moon),” a Dutch East India Company three-masted flyboat, upstream to Pem-po-tu-wuth-ut or Sche-negh-ta-da, today Albany, NY

     These waters, these lands had long been navigated & populated by native peoples— for at least 10 000 years. But what is left of the 9500 years of these rich & complex layers of life, history, culture? Karstic-Action Be Like Water was broadcast from my studio in Bay Ridge — in the southwest of Brooklyn, located on a terminal moraine created by receding glaciers around 13,000 years ago along the Verrazano Narrows. This land belonged to the Lenape people & there is local evidence of their dwelling here since 4500 BC. The Lenape belong to the Algonquin civilization & spoke Munsee. Given their predominantly oral culture, early written documents are rarely accurate as they come to us from the first colonizers who knew neither their culture nor their language. Like the other Natives, the Lenape have been dispossessed, displaced, practically exterminated. The colonizers also usurped & changed the names of rivers, valleys & mountains which in their languages had held important geographical & linguistic information. From the beginning on the European infiltration started to obliterate the ecological equilibrium of their sustainable land- & water-based environment. Before Henry Hudson, the Florentine Giovanni de Verrazano visited the narrows in 1524, sent by the French king, François 1er. A Brooklyn Eagle article from 1911 reports that graves have been found on the Bliss Estate, or what’s now called Owl’s Head Park. “This is known as Indian Mound, for here Indian relics and bones have been found.” This mound —part of the moraine mentioned above, is my neighborhood park & I visit it almost everyday when I am in Bay Ridge. 

     Karstic Action: Be Like Water is the distillate of the geological, historical, environmental information I acquired over the years, succussed into a 3-minute performance. This work is in the lineage of the KARSTIC-Actions Paintings open-ended series of live performances I started in 2011. They explore proprioception (sense of body position) & kinesthesia (sense of body movement), as meeting points between painting, poetry, voice, music, ecology, geology, history. “Karstic” refers to the geological phenomena of dissolution & transformation at work in the formation of superficial or underground limestone topographies. By a similar principle of infiltration, language transforms into poem, breath into song and colored chalk become pastel into marks on paper or canvas. Always “in/quest of” equilibrium through an ecological consciousness in the literal meaning of that term: greek οἶκος / oîkos/ house, household, dwelling & λόγος / lógos/ discourse, thus science of dwelling. 

     The sound track was pre-recorded (recording & mixing courtesy of Miles Joris-Peyrafitte) to allow me to focus on the physical performance aspect. The text is an assemblage of the “Mahicanituck” song written for the performance “The Bi-Continental Chowder” in the early 2000s & of a second part written over the past week. The background of the live painting is a sheet of paper used as a floor covering & saved from a 2015 action painting. The pigments were a mixture of chewed charcoals burned in the fireplace of our house in my native Pyrenees, pure calcium carbonate (calcite), Ercolano red,  terre verte Brentonico, Chefchaouen blue, French clay,   bauxite de Tourves, sand from the Narrows; all mixed with water & applied with the feet while in headstand (Salamba Sirsasana II). 

 

 
 
Sound file:

 

Text:

Be Like Water
for Betsy Damon on New Year’s day 2022

Mahicanituck, Shatemuc
from lake Tear of the Clouds
she flows & grows
& grows & flows
to meet the Atlantic Ocean at the Verrazano Narrows
Mahicanituck, Shatemuc
great water constantly in motion
great water that flows two ways
they call you Hudson today
we cannot drink your water anymore
we cannot eat your fish or oysters anymore
we cannot swim from your shores anymore
but Mahicanituck, Shatemuc
I feel your flow
I feel your flow
I hope less
feel flow
hope less
feel flow
feel flow
my hydrological cycle
primeval waters
primordial oysters
salty waters
fresh waters
with the bonobos following the Congo trail
waking wading dwelling from canopy to water 
defying that water was “ubered” by an asteroid or comet
but steamed out 4.3 billions years ago
hope is not a strategy
hope is a belief
water was already here
immanent not transcendent
the crucible of non-living & living worlds
feel flow
feel flow
feed flow
feed flow
On the menu du jour: life’s origin
serving primordial soup
on original sea bed
paired with
water to restore the
intimate relationship with life
feel flow
feel flow
Mahicanituck, Shatemuc
great water constantly in motion
great water that flows two ways
we grow & flow
& flow & grow

2 0 1 9 !

2 0 1 9 !

A HAPPY 2019 TO YOU ALL!

We started the year “en fanfare” with a short installment of a new Domopoetic-Karstic-Action, “Two, Zero, One, Nine: a line, a cave, a hand, a song” at the 45th Annual New Year’s Day Marathon Benefit Reading for The Poetry Project. You can watch the live video above. Thank you, Miles Joris-Peyrafitte for the phone-video-capture.
Below, some news about upcoming events & publications. We are looking forward to see you in 2019 — keep in touch!
Nicole & Pierre

EVENTS:

Tuesday January 22  6:00PM
Washington, D.C
Pierre & Nicole w/ Charles Bernstein and other poets.
A Night With American Poets Against US Sanctions on Iran on the night of the State of the Union
Busboys And Poets
2021 14th St NW, Washington, District of Columbia, 20009
View Map
Saturday February 9  1:30PM
Albany N.Y
Nicole feature poet
Know Reading
The Excelsior Pub
54 Philip St, Albany, NY 12207, USA
April 4-7  
Austin, Tx
Pierre & Nicole at the Austin International Poetry Festival 
April 18-21
New-Orleans, La
Pierre & Nicole translation panel & poetry readings at New Orleans Poetry Festival 

2018 PUBLICATIONS:

Pierre
Revolution Goes Through Walls, by Safaa Fathy 
(SplitLevel Texts). Translated from the Arabic by Safaa Fathy and Pierre Joris; now long listed for the 2019  PEN Award for Poetry in TranslationPurchase
Adonis & Pierre Joris : Conversation in the Pyrenees  Contra Mundum Press, 2018 
with a Pyrenean Invocation by Nicole Peyrafitte
Méditations sur les Stations de Mansour al-Hallaj  Pierre Joris (translated into French by Habib Tengour; APIC Algiers)

N & P
Junction Box Issue 11
A very special edition, featuring a number of papers & documentation delivered at the Black Mountain College symposium, which took place in Crickhowell, Wales, over a weekend in May 2018.
We both participated and here are our contributions:
Pierre JorisOlson Now
Nicole Peyrafitte:  Basil King: Mirage (A Film) — A great opportunity to see the entire film if you haven’t yet —plus drawings from Carnets

Nicole
LANDSC0PEÉditions Plaine Page, June 2018
U.S book release TBA / disponible chez votre libraire et/ou en vente ici
CARNET 2, an artist book by Redfoxpress, Ireland, August 2018.
available here  / en vente ici
Requiem for Gaza  available here
LiveMag #15  online
TESTE 32  

Pierre
Forthcoming in 2019:
Meditations on the Stations of Mansur al-Hallaj (translated into Arabic by Safaa Fathy; Cairo)
Arabia (Not So) Deserta Essays on Maghrebi and Mashreqi Literary & Cultural Matters. (Spuyten Duyvil, New York)
Microliths : The Complete Posthumous Prose by Paul Celan (attem press).

Poetry Project Performance Documentation 02/25/2015

Poetry Project Performance Documentation 02/25/2015

np_livepainting_02_2015_2

This is the documentation of my portion of the soirée at The Poetry Project (NYC-February 25, 2015 ) with Michael Bisio on bass. Thank you Sally Rhodes for the iPhone photos & video capture. The painting was made live without hands, see pictures & videos.

The material presented included:
-Parts of a on-going series started in 2011 called RRM: Remember-Reflect-Mark.
-Sections of a forthcoming book US SCO/APES bilingual edition by French publisher éditions Plaine Page.
-Sections from the Red Carnet -in progress- 
& overall this is the continuation of the work presented in Bi-Valve: the Vulvic Space / Vulvic Knowledge– published by Lori Anderson-Moseman at Stockport Flats this documents 17 texts/ 17 visuals/ 1 recipe & a recording of the material with Michael Bisio .  Thank you Poetry Project!



Lake Palourde from US SCO/APES

Hemna de Oô from Bi-Valve: Vulvic Space Vulvic Knowledge


Live Painting

np_livepainting_02_2015_2

“Un Auròst” January 1 2015 at Poetry Project

“Un Auròst” January 1 2015 at Poetry Project


Video capture Richard Berger
“Un Auròst” —with Michael Bisio on bass— at Poetry Project New Year’s Day Benefit Reading.

This tri-lingual piece was written with words from three sources. Most come via Maria Blanca (1765-1849), the last aurostaira or professional mourner — a soothsayer, in fact, & even more so a “truth-sayer.” Maria Blanca was from the Vallée d’Aspa in the French Pyrenees. The other words come via Marcabrun (1130-1150), one of the earliest troubadours & finally some are my own.

Heads up!
The full schedule of upcoming events will come up in a few weeks but save the dates for:

Nicole Peyrafitte & Sunnylynn Thibodeaux at The Poetry Project —Wednesday February 25th 8PM —Michael Bisio will be also part of my reading/performance .

& back by popular demand: the Cabaret Hérétique w/ Adrian Cohen on piano on Sunday March 8 8:30PM at Bowery Arts & Science

2 0 0 9 !

2 0 0 9 !

A HAPPY 2019 TO YOU ALL!

We started the year “en fanfare” with a short installment of a new Domopoetic-Karstic-Action, “Two, Zero, One, Nine: a line, a cave, a hand, a song” at the 45th Annual New Year’s Day Marathon Benefit Reading for The Poetry Project. You can watch the live video above. Thank you, Miles Joris-Peyrafitte for the phone-video-capture.
Below, some news about upcoming events & publications. We are looking forward to see you in 2019 — keep in touch!
Nicole & Pierre

EVENTS:

Tuesday January 22  6:00PM
Washington, D.C
Pierre & Nicole w/ Charles Bernstein and other poets.
A Night With American Poets Against US Sanctions on Iran on the night of the State of the Union
Busboys And Poets
2021 14th St NW, Washington, District of Columbia, 20009
View Map
Saturday February 9  1:30PM
Albany N.Y
Nicole feature poet
Know Reading
The Excelsior Pub
54 Philip St, Albany, NY 12207, USA
April 4-7  
Austin, Tx
Pierre & Nicole at the Austin International Poetry Festival 
April 18-21
New-Orleans, La
Pierre & Nicole translation panel & poetry readings at New Orleans Poetry Festival 

2018 PUBLICATIONS:

Pierre
Revolution Goes Through Walls, by Safaa Fathy 
(SplitLevel Texts). Translated from the Arabic by Safaa Fathy and Pierre Joris; now long listed for the 2019  PEN Award for Poetry in TranslationPurchase
Adonis & Pierre Joris : Conversation in the Pyrenees  Contra Mundum Press, 2018 
with a Pyrenean Invocation by Nicole Peyrafitte
Méditations sur les Stations de Mansour al-Hallaj  Pierre Joris (translated into French by Habib Tengour; APIC Algiers)

N & P
Junction Box Issue 11
A very special edition, featuring a number of papers & documentation delivered at the Black Mountain College symposium, which took place in Crickhowell, Wales, over a weekend in May 2018.
We both participated and here are our contributions:
Pierre JorisOlson Now
Nicole Peyrafitte:  Basil King: Mirage (A Film) — A great opportunity to see the entire film if you haven’t yet —plus drawings from Carnets

Nicole
LANDSC0PEÉditions Plaine Page, June 2018
U.S book release TBA / disponible chez votre libraire et/ou en vente ici
CARNET 2, an artist book by Redfoxpress, Ireland, August 2018.
available here  / en vente ici
Requiem for Gaza  available here
LiveMag #15  online
TESTE 32  

Pierre
Forthcoming in 2019:
Meditations on the Stations of Mansur al-Hallaj (translated into Arabic by Safaa Fathy; Cairo)
Arabia (Not So) Deserta Essays on Maghrebi and Mashreqi Literary & Cultural Matters. (Spuyten Duyvil, New York)
Microliths : The Complete Posthumous Prose by Paul Celan (attem press).